Now that the 2020 Grand Slam season is completed and Rafael Nadal is tied with Roger Federer at 20 main championships, probably the most for a person in tennis historical past, adopted by Novak Djokovic at 17, some could be tempted to rekindle the dialog about which is the “Best of All-Time.”
The reality is, everybody ought to simply let that GOAT debate go.
Attempting to provide you with a consensus decide is foolish — particularly now, when the Huge Three are nonetheless energetic — and, extra to the purpose, pointless.
Why insist on selecting one once we ought to admire, admire and elevate all of them?
Two weeks earlier than Nadal trounced Djokovic 6-Zero, 6-2, 7-5 Sunday to earn a 13th trophy on the French Open and catch Federer within the Slam standings, Serena Williams was requested to evaluate the importance of such an achievement.
Williams owns 23 main singles trophies, probably the most by anybody within the skilled period and second to Margaret Court docket’s all-era normal of 24.
“You possibly can’t evaluate two folks which are equally nice. Roger — I imply, he’s Roger Federer. I feel that claims sufficient. So, you recognize, it’s like, I don’t perceive why folks need to pit, ‘Who’s this? Who’s that?’ They each have spectacular careers that 99% of individuals can solely dream of. … Each single credit score and each single factor that they get, they completely deserve it,” Williams mentioned. “I’m an enormous fan of each, to be trustworthy.”
Nothing unsuitable with that.
Additionally nothing unsuitable with choosing one to cheer for, to love one of the best. That’s what fandom is all about.
These keen on Federer, Nadal or Djokovic can construct a case.
“I’m a person of numbers,” mentioned Ivan Lendl, who received eight Slam titles from 1984-90. “And so to me, the man who wins probably the most majors goes to most likely be considered as one of the best ever. Who’s it proper now? … It’s nonetheless undecided.”
Nadal has his 20, no less than one at every Slam and no less than one in every of three many years, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s; his 13 at Roland Garros are greater than anybody received at any match; he leads Federer 24-16 head-to-head; he leads Djokovic 5-Four in Grand Slam finals.
Federer has his 20 and a profession Slam, too; he holds the file for many weeks at No. 1 within the ATP rankings; his totals for tour titles (103) and match wins (1,242) are the best of the group.
Djokovic’s 17 main titles makes him the one different man with greater than 14, and he, like his rivals, owns a profession Slam, and like Nadal, has received one in three many years; he leads the head-to-head collection with each Nadal (29-27) and Federer (27-23); he’s received probably the most Masters 1000s and carried out so twice at every occasion, whereas nobody else even has one title from every at that stage; he’s gaining on Federer in weeks at No. 1.
Their abilities, kinds and personalities provide one thing for everybody.
“All of them play completely different. All of them love their completely different surfaces, completely different circumstances. Novak continues to be clearly in attain for the Slam depend, as nicely,” American professional Jack Sock mentioned. “You possibly can’t actually put your finger on one man. … They’re all GOATs in their very own means.”
Federer’s serve and his web sport stand out; he’s been greatest on Wimbledon’s grass.
Nada’s lefty forehand and court docket protection stand out; he’s been greatest on the French Open’s pink clay.
Djokovic’s return and backhand stand out; he’s been greatest on the Australian Open’s arduous courts.
“These three guys confirmed all through their profession (what) nice champions they’re, irrespective of the circumstances, irrespective of the environment, irrespective of something,” 2014 U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic mentioned. “They can maintain the whole lot and to struggle by means of difficulties, which is a superb advantage of champions.”
There are, to make certain, different questions for tennis followers to ponder in 2021:
— Can Williams, 39, stay wholesome sufficient to proceed to contend for Slam success?
— Which of the younger current ladies’s main champions — Iga Swiatek, 19; Bianca Andreescu, 20; Sofia Kenin, 21; Naomi Osaka, 22; Ash Barty, 24 — will emerge as one of the best?
— Can U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem, 27, separate himself farther from the up-and-coming males?
— Will another person — Daniil Medvedev, 24; Alexander Zverev, 23; Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22; Andrey Rublev, 22; Denis Shapovalov, 21; Casper Ruud, 21; Felix Auger-Aliassime, 20; Jannik Sinner, 19 — be the following to interrupt by means of?
Nonetheless, there’s nothing unsuitable with persevering with to deal with the Huge Three.
No technique to know the way for much longer Federer — 39 and coming off a pair of knee operations that sidelined him for the U.S. Open and French Open — Nadal, 34, and Djokovic, 33, will face one another and ply their specific abilities on their sport’s greatest levels.
Be pleased about no matter we get the remainder of the best way. Appears protected to say there by no means can be something prefer it once more.